We recently interviewed our Travel Manager, Elliott Bates, as part of our ‘Two Minutes With’ series. The series aims to bring together some of our team members for informative and enlightening interviews – all in short, sharp two minute reads.
How and when did your Ashfield Meetings & Events career begin?
My journey began just over nine years ago, back in the days of Universal Procon and onwards through the various re-brandings that came before the business we all know today. It has been fantastic to be a part of Ashfield Meetings & Events during this time and see so many changes and progressions along the way. It sure is an exciting business to be involved with. It’s hard to believe that when I joined, we started with a single business unit supported by a very compact travel and venue sourcing department, and now, we’re operating on a global basis for clients in healthcare and a variety of other industry sectors through our sister brand SPARK THINKING.
What does your role at Ashfield Meetings & Events and SPARK THINKING involve? What will some of your day-to-day tasks be?
I manage a team of travel specialists and throughout the day I’ll support them with the consultancy and input into destination selection from both a cost and travel time-efficiency perspective.
On a more personal level, I’m responsible for making sure that “all things travel” are running smoothly and that our booking systems are fully functioning as they should. As is very much the case with the industry in which we work, our travel department never stands still, so I regularly conduct reviews of our processes to ensure we’re doing things the best way we can.
Biggest achievement/proudest moment in the industry or with our company?
Looking back and reflecting on the growth of the travel department fills me with great pride. We’ve moved away from a much more manual and paper-based operation, through to the development and launch of our bespoke travel self-booking system, and onwards to the integration of newer and more efficient technologies. All of these things have made such a difference to how we work, and importantly our clients are reaping the benefits.
What inspires you?
The reason I got into the travel industry in the first place was curiosity to find out what else was out there beyond UK shores. Once I started travelling and actually seeing the places I had read about, it fuelled a passion for travel that still burns strong today. It is definitely true that travel broadens the horizons.
What's your superpower in a work environment and why?
Expertise. Working in the travel industry for roughly 24 and a half years in various roles - both retail and business travel - has given me skills and understanding of travel operations that enables me to shape and evolve our travel booking service.
Which three words best describe you and why?
Determined, motivated and proud. I love what I do and take great pride in being able to bring my travel industry expertise into our fast-paced, forward-thinking business and I get a huge amount of personal satisfaction from a job done well.
This article was first published in our internal e-zine, Ignite. If you'd like to learn more about inspirational e-zine, please contact us here.